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Jody Watley, singer/songwriter/producer/businesswoman, is one of the architects of 21st century pop. From her groundbreaking marriage of rap & R&B (1987’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim) to her vision-forward marriage of high fashion, street fashion and music in the ‘80s (long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre, Ms. Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook. Winner of the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987, Jody Watley’s entire career has been about looking forward, drawing inspiration from personal heroes like Grace Jones, David Bowie, Diana Ross and jazz great Nancy Wilson – iconoclasts who were always ten steps ahead of the pack. The Chicago native’s eclectic repertoire – R&B, hip-hop, House, jazz, pop, drum & bass, ambient, spoken-word – is built on a positive vision and a strong taste for artistic and aesthetic risk. Her self-titled 1987 solo debut – a showcase for her vocal chops and songwriting skills – was a beats & grooves tribute to her club kid roots, from the underground spots she frequented as a teenager to her stardom (while still a teen) as one of the most popular dancers in the history of iconic TV show “Soul Train.” It yielded the chart topping hits “Looking for a New Love” (which launched the Jody-penned phrase “Hasta la vista” into popular vernacular, becoming so huge that Arnold Schwarzenegger jacked it for his signature line in the movie The Terminator), “Don’t You Want Me,” “Most of All,” “Some Kind of Lover” and “Still a Thrill,” whose video was the first (and as yet unmatched) time a pop star flexed their skills at waaking, the underground Los Angeles dance that is a sibling to both breakdancing and voguing. 1989’s Larger Than Life, her blockbuster sophomore album, yielded the hits “Real Love” (whose influential music video – nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards – was her second collaboration with acclaimed film director David Fincher, the first being her sleek video for “Most of All”), “Friends,” and the sultry ballad “Everything.” They were all huge hits. Like many artists who top the charts, Ms. Watley soon found herself stymied by the limited vision of her label, who wanted to shoehorn her into formula. The albums Affairs of the Heart (1991) and Intimacy (1993) displayed her deepening songwriting skills and singing prowess, as well as her assured experimentation with layered musical textures, but label support was missing in action. The powerful, beat-driven spoken-word track “When a Man Loves a Woman” from Affairs sparked controversy for addressing AIDS and domestic violence long before they were topics of national conversation, and her skittish label turned its back on the track and album. Though Ms. Watley’s artistry continued to deepen and grow, she was hamstrung by her label’s lack of support and their adherence to the same narrow definitions of success that saw her leave iconic R&B group Shalamar at the height of its popularity in 1983. Her own definition of success centered then and now on artistic growth and freedom, not simply replicating whatever was or is hot at the moment. After breaking from the majors and starting her own label Avitone Recordings in 1995, Ms. Watley began collaborating with a Who’s Who of visionary producers and remixers, many of whom were longtime fans and jumped at the chance to work with her: 4 Hero, King Britt, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez & Little Louie Vega, Mark de Clive Lowe, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Ron Trent, Moto Blanco, and Alex Di Ciò. Thanks to her non-stop touring, her global fan base remains as fervent as ever and they’ve made chart and club hits of Ms. Watley’s indie albums – Affection (1995), Flower (1998), The Saturday Night Experience (1999), Midnight Lounge (2001), and The Makeover (2006) – and her 2014 EP Paradise. For the past five years, the ever multi-tasking Ms. Watley has focused on both her thriving solo career and the group project “Jody Watley featuring SRL.” Much like Prince had The Revolution, NPG, and Third Eye Girl (among many other projects and aliases) as extensions or branches of his music and creativity, Jody Watley feat. SRL allows Ms. Watley another outlet for her artistic expression. SRL members Rosero McCoy and Nate Allen Smith – gifted singers, dancers, and choreographers in their own right – bring their own cool style and vibe to Ms. Watley’s trademark high-energy, all-love live performances, and the trio’s critically acclaimed concerts draw SRO crowds around the world. With musical influences that include Kaytranada, Anderson Paak, and Little Dragon, they’ve released several chart-topping hit singles in Europe, including the Alex Di Ciò remix of “The Mood.” Their forthcoming album will be a seamless mix of dance grooves, funky beats, deep House, R&B, trap, rock, and ambient ballads accented with guitar flourishes. Also in the works is Jody Watley: The Jazzy Sessions, a longtime dream project finally come to fruition. Fans were given a taste of what to expect from that forthcoming EP on the bossa nova tinged cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain,” which shot to the top of the jazz charts within weeks of its release. A lilting, gorgeously melancholy take on the classic tune, the track simmers with tension between the longing of the lyrics and the lush, languid music and arrangement. Though some newer fans were pleasantly surprised that Ms. Watley pulled off a jazz tune, longtime fans saw it as simply the artistic thread being pulled forward from Ms. Watley’s show-stopping cover of Cole Porter’s classic song “After You,” from the landmark AIDS benefit recording project Red Hot & Blue, released in1990. What links “Waiting” to the rest of Ms. Watley’s far-ranging and impossible to pigeonhole catalogue (which has seen her hit the charts in every decade of her career, from 1977’s Uptown Festival album with Shalamar to 2018’s “Waiting in Vain” single) is the sincerity and honesty from which it springs. “Everything I’ve ever done has been to be distinctively Jody Watley,” says the pop icon herself, “from my first solo album through right now. Everything that I will ever do always has to be authentic to me, work that I can always be proud of first and foremost. It’s not so much about, ‘Oh, this is going to be popular,’ or ‘Oh, this is going to be a big hit.’ It’s always been so personal to me, everything that I do. And the fans can feel that. They connect with the honesty.”

Jody Watley Colors Of Christmas 2022 With San Francisco Symphony

Jody Watley returns to Colors of Christmas for 2022 with San Francisco Symphony.

Colors of Christmas is an experience like no other music tour of combined talents and artistry.

’m thrilled to join The Colors of Christmas concert again, along with Oleta Adams, Peabo Bryson, and Ruben Studdard performing with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall December 6 & 7. To perform with the symphony orchestra again is a dream come true not to mention singing with Oleta, Peabo & Ruben – total awesomeness!!

Come experience a couple of my classics with an orchestra and the magic of seeing all of us sing duets and ensembles in the spirit of Christmas and holiday season – even the Grinch would enjoy it!

Tickets just went on sale: Davies Symphony Hall

Grammy Winning Artist Jody Watley Featured In New Billboard Headlining Charity Gala

A spectacular evening of festivity, friendship FundRaising as the Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage Community comes together to benefit the Cathedral City Senior Center single tickets are available as well. Join me in supporting this important cause, as we know health care isn’t affordable or accessible for many seniors and often needs to be supplemented with additional assistance. If you are unable to attend you can help by donating: Here

Jody Watley Featured In Historic Los Angeles Sentinel

Read the feature on Jody Watley” Gold Standard In Artistry” in the long-standing #1 Los Angeles Sentinel, serving news to the LA Black community for over 80 years. Read HERE

New in SHEEN – Jody Watley The Gold Standard Of Artistry

Still, Today She Continues to Fuel Quality Music Over the Decades and Into the New Millennium

Jody Watley is the gold standard of artistry. A brilliant songwriter, artist, entrepreneur, producer, and visionary. When you visit Jody Watley YouTube Channel, experience All Things Jody Watley, including concert features, interviews of the Grammy Award-winning artist and more.” – Read the full feature:

SHEEN Magazine

Jody Watley – Freestyle Festival Tempe Park In Photos

September 24, 2022 – Jody Watley Phoenix (Tempe Park, Bobby Dee Presents :: Freestyle Festival ) 100 degrees and thousands of party people. We had a blast and I met some wonderful longtime fans.

Thank you to the team Kayla, Jasmine & Pamela Broussard (making sure everything went smoothly) and all fans who support by buying the tickets, the merch, being in the heat like yesterday, singing along bringing the energies of love and having a great time, gracias!

Custom Skirt by Dope Tavio.

Jody Watley. Ready to bring some Wattage to the show.

On my way to venue – stage ready, took time with fans first- all love and reciprocal appreciation.

Always take time for the fans!

He said he was celebrating 35 years of Wattage! Love it!!

Gifts – Tote & Carry!

Collectible card – probably headed for eBay!

Skirt by Dope Tavio from Project Runway Season 19 – I love his stuff and rooted for him on the show,

It was 100 degrees – 10,000 devoted fans and freestyle music lovers were in party mode – loved it! Photo courtesy of Jeremy Morse.

Performing “Don’t You Want Me”

Photo courtesy of Stacey Jay Cavaliere

All ages of love – Wattage Crew!!
Kayla Simone Henry, Jody Watley, Jasmine Boyes.Thank you Bobby Dee Presents Freestyle Festival & all of the fans for the love.

Video to come on the Official Jody Watley Youtube Channel. Subscribe!

New Upload. Jody Watley With Words of Gratitude For Women Songwriters Hall Of Fame Award

Watch the short video and make sure to subscribe to the Official Jody Watley Youtube Channel!

“A Beautiful Life” Makes A Mark On This Day In Jody Watley Music Chart History

#OTD September 20, 2008

The empowering “A Beautiful Life”  Debuted on Billboard’s Dance chart. It would reach #5.

Written & Produced by: Jody Watley, Rodney Lee 

From critically acclaimed 2006 Top 10 Billboard Dance/Electronic album “The Makeover.” in case you missed it

Available at all digital outlets. View full Jody Watley Discography and Chart History : Here

Video by Mike Ruiz

Makeup by Billy B. 

Jody Watley Brings The Wattage To Naper Pride Fest

Wattage!

Dancer: Kayla Henry
Dancer: Jasmine Boyes
Wattage!
All handheld fans were signed and auctioned for Naper Pride Fest Organization.

Grammy Award Winning Singer-Songwriter Jody Watley made an appearance at Naper Pride Fest in Naperville, Illinois. With a mission to create equal treatment of all gender expressions and any member of the LGBTQIA+ community, the second festival was another step forward. The Naper Pride Organization has a mission statement that “Everyone deserves to feel valued and included.” As Watley wrote in her 1995 hit “Affection “Doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, don’t matter if you’re straight or gay – everybody needs to feel loved.” the message of love and equality is timeless and very much needed now more than ever. The style icon brought the energy to the stage in a power packed party diverse set list, ending the set with a poignant speech to the crowd and thanking Naper Pride.

Photography by Eva Genevieve-Scarborough

Set List: A nonstop party blend of classic Pop/R&B/Hip Hop and contemporary Dance hits

Some Kind Of Lover (short edit)

Nightlife (Jodie Harsh House Mix)

Dancer (Craig C Deep House Mix) 

I Want Your Love (DJ Spinna Mix)/ Your Love Keeps Working On Me / I Want You / Affection Medley)

Still A Thrill

Don’t You Want Me (Francois K. Remix edit)

Friends

Real Love

Looking For A New Love 

Have A Look – Jody Watley Women Songwriters Hall Of Fame Award

The Grammy winning Solo career and songwriting catalog of Jody Watley includes blockbuster classics like (“Looking For A New Love”, “Still A Thrill”, “Don’t You Want Me”, “Real Love”, “Friends” the groundbreaking hit ft Eric B & Rakim) to name a few and countless other gems in an ongoing career with over 100 songwriting credits to her Jody Watley Music, BMI catalog). Jody Watley’s “Sweet 16” was recorded by Destiny’s Child on their multiple platinum album “Writings On The Wall” as well as compositions from platinum artist Jermaine Stewart (“Say It Again” album.

Jody Watley received the BMI songwriter award “Medal Of Honor” in 1993 for over a million plays of songs in her songwriting catalog.
The Jody Watley songwriting catalog dates back to her Shalamar days co-writing songs and penning lyrics and melodies to “Full of Fire” & “Work It Out” (3 for Love album 1980) “Help Me” & “Playing To Win” (Friends album 1982).
Her deep pen continues today with more uplifting solo gems like “Sanctuary”, “The Essence”, “The Healing” “Skin Deep” “A Beautiful Life” and more with her broad repertoire that spans R&B, Pop, Dance, Hip Hop, House Music, Jazz, Drum & Bass, Ambient Chill Electronica, Spoken word (can we discuss the depth of “When A Man Loves A Woman, Affection”) & Inspirational. The recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at Jody Watley Day at Georgia State Capitol this year, an honorary doctorate recipient in humanitarian endeavors, business & entrepreneurship, we celebrate and honor the Icon in and her legacy in music and Songwriting Dr.Jody Watley.” –
Women Songwriters Hall Of Fame August 27, 2022.

Other notable inductees include Marilyn Bergman (posthumous), Gloria Estefan, Siedah Garrett, Indigo Girls, Loretta Lynn at the second year of the ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

I was unable to attend unfortunately due to being sick for two weeks with Covid, and also still taking time to rest while mourning the passing of my Mom and handling her affairs, a video recording of my acceptance speech was playing. This is a very high honor for me to be recognized and in such as esteemed class of other women songwriters.

New Jody Watley Painting In The Fan Art Gallery

Jody Watley. Watercolor Painting by Paul Sidhu 2022

New in the Jody Watley Fan Art Gallery here on the site is this striking watercolor painting by Paul Sidhu, inspired by the photography of “Don’t You Want Me” in the Jean Paul Gaultier velvet cone bra.